Microbiologist Dr. David Kelly, 59, was found dead after seemingly slashing his wrist in a wood near his home at Southmoor, Oxfordshire, days after being named as the Iraq dossier mole. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death continues. Dr. Kelly was Britain's leading expert on Baghdad's weapons programs.
The Hutton inquiry...
see part 5 of the Hutton report The search for Dr Kelly and the finding of his body
From 1984-1992 he was Head of Microbiology at the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment,
Porton Down.[ $ ]
At the time of the enquiry the media referred to him as being a mild mannered and relatively unimportant
He also tried to 'open up' the Russians secrecy over
here is an example of the type of work he used to do : [rar file]
he was part of the group of last weapons inspectors in Iraq and was planning to go back there...
A Newsnight investigation raised the possibility that there was a secret CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax through the mail which went madly out of control.
The shocking assertion is that a key member of the covert operation may have removed, refined and eventually posted weapons-grade anthrax which killed five people.
In the wake of Sept 11th, the anthrax attacks caused panic throughout the States and around the world. But has the FBI found the whole case too hot to handle?
Susan Watts reported from Washington.
[ note: she was also in communicado with Dr Kelly for a story on how Blair lied about Iraqs 45 minute WMD capability ...Andrew Gilligan subsequently ran with it on the BBC Radio 'Today programme'...and along with Kelly became a scapegoate for the Neo-UK Junta ever growng policy of shaping intelligence to the whims of the Geo-political aspirations of corrupt politicians and their corporate bedfellows. ]
America's anthrax attack last autumn was second only to that on the Twin Towers in the degree of shock and anxiety it caused...Some even say the anthrax letters triggered sub-clinical hysteria in the American people...yet this, the first major act of biological terrorism the world has seen remains an unsolved crime...
Initially the investigation looked for a possible Al-Qaeda or Iraqi link, then to a domestic terrorist, then inwards to the US bio-defence programme itself. But in the last four or five weeks the investigation seems to have run into the sand...There have been several theories as to why ...
Three weeks ago Dr Barbara Rosenberg - an acknowledged authority on US bio-defence - claimed the FBI is dragging its feet because an arrest would be embarrassing to the US authorities. Tonight on Newsnight, she goes further...suggesting there could have been a secret CIA field project to test the practicalities of sending anthrax through the mail - whose top scientist went badly off the rails...
DR BARBARA ROSENBERG:
FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS:
Some very expert field person would have been given this job and it would have been left to him to decide exactly how to carry it out. The result might have been a project gone badly awry if he decided to use it for his own purposes and target the media and the senate for his own motives as not intended by the govt project...but this is a possibility that I think needs to be considered
And another leading bio-defence analyst has already sketched out a similar profile for the kind of person likely to be behind the anthrax attacks...
CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL & SECURITY STUDIES:
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND:
I would think it was somebody who had this kind of experience, and I think the word that I used for you was 'a cowboy' when we first spoke, that simply means in the United States someone who feels such bravura in his actions, he feels he's a free actor, he can decide what should be done and what shouldn't be done, and what the reason is.
In recent weeks, the focus of the investigation has been the US army medical research institute at Fort Detrick near Washington. Fort Detrick is the site at the centre of a web of military centres spread across the US and twilight private companies which work with these military sites hand-in-hand as contractors...
Colonel David Franz was in charge at Fort Detrick for eleven years - he's had hands-on experience with biological agents and has his own ideas about the kind of person the FBI should be looking for.
COLONEL DAVID FRANZ:
FORMER DETRICK MEDICAL RESEARCH PROG, 1987-98:
It's not someone who just got on the Internet or went to the library and got a book and held the book in one hand and a big wooden spoon in the other and stirred up batches. It's someone who has spent a significant amount of time I believe working with a spore former of some kind and knew how to grow ...and how to purify and how to dry
Inside accounts by former staff at Fort Detrick during the nineties reveal a research site in disarray with questionable security measures. We spoke to one former lab technician now working in Belize about unexplained night-time activities in the lab.
DR MARY BETH DOWNS:
ST MATTHEW'S UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE:
FORMER FORT DETRICK EMPLOYEE:
I came in developed my negatives and here they said anthrax and I looked at this little counter that would have been putting the sequential numbers on the film and there weren't any films missing and yet I knew that Friday I had used it and it hadn't said anthrax.
What did that suggest to you had been happening over the weekend?
That someone had been in there working on anthrax....Anyone who did have access to the labs was not monitored in what they did, either in what they did in the lab that is the amount of agent they were growing, or in what they did with that agent, that is if they put it in their pocket and took it home ...
Such is the FBI's determination to establish if Fort Detrick is at the heart of this that it has turned to genomic analysis of the powder itself...The Inst for Genomic Research was founded by Craig Venter - the man who sped up the decoding of the Human Genome... their anthrax team has created a DNA "fingerprint" of anthrax taken from the body of the first person to be killed - a Florida-based newspaper man. They're looking for differences between this so-called Florida "strain" and stored samples from a number of US military sites
This is the first time genomic analysis has been used for microbial forensics...Tim Read is one of the world's leading authorities on the genetic make-up of anthrax . He compared the fingerprint of the Florida strain with that of samples originating at Fort Detrick. The results are not yet published - so he's being careful what he says:
DR TIMOTHY READ:
THE INSTITUTE OF GENOMIC RESEARCH:
They're definitely related to each other ...closely related to each other
Could they be so closely related that one could consider them to be one and the same thing?
I'm not commenting on that...
But the real answer may lie not just in where the anthrax came from, but who had access to it. Veterans of the 1960s US germ warfare programme were the obvious first thought. Early on in the investigation, there was one name that immediately came to many people, but few dared whisper it aloud. William Capers Patrick the third was part of the original US programme, which officially drew to a close in the 1960s...The New York Times claimed last December he was the author in 1998 of a secret paper study on the possible effects of anthrax sent through the mail, although he now denies that. ...
We went to see Bill Patrick to ask him if he might know the culprit...
Hello Susan Watts BBC
Patrick is an acknowledged showman...known for his startling demonstrations ...some in less than classified company. During the course of our interview he told us several pieces of technical information which one expert said could help anyone intending to create an anthrax weapon.
WILLIAM CAPERS PATRICK III:
BIOLOGICAL WARFARE CONSULTANT:
I've prepared two harmless simulant powders... beautiful flow properties...
It's clear from what Bill Patrick told us that he's been a central figure in the bio-defence community for many years and that he may well have met or come across the person behind the attacks...
Most of my discussions about the biological problem has been in secure conferences and meetings, and involve people with need to know, with security clearance and what have you. I don't talk about 'how to', I don't get into 'how to' with many people, no people other than the fact that those who really have a need to know.
Does it nag at you in the back of your mind that possibly you do know him?
Possibly, possibly, I could have talked to these people. But it would have been within the context of their having a need to know.
He told me two FBI agents and an official from the attorney general's office interviewed him for 3 and a half hours two weeks ago. He says they told him he had been a suspect, but left him believing he was in the clear.
And just to put on record can I ask you did you perpetrate these attacks..
my goodness I did not ....I did not...I'm an American patriot.
Patrick was on the UN team that inspected Iraqi weapons facilities in the mid 1990s, and he WAS surprised the FBI didn't come to him straight after the attacks, simply because of his expertise. He acknowledges it was only logical to consider him a suspect, but for Patrick, the most likely explanation, or perhaps the most comfortable, is that the powder and the motive originated overseas - in some rogue state...
I would hate to think that anyone in our country.. that would do this to our own people, if we ever find whoever does this I hope it comes from overseas, because that way I would.. well I don't want.. I want someone to be caught, I want the perpetrator to be caught, but I would rather think that it came from our enemies outside of our own country as opposed to our own people perpetrating this crime against our own
Bill Patrick is no longer seen as a suspect, but the net IS closing around someone at the heart of the US germ warfare programme.
We now know by piecing together information from well-placed sources that there's another individual. He's been interviewed by FBI agents, and remains under widespread suspicion...
But he's no loner. He's likely to have worked on a key government project in the past and to have a network of friends and colleagues he can rely on. The possibility that more than one person is involved may answer some of the perplexing geographical questions about where the attacks originated.
DR RONALD ATLAS:
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MICROBIOLOGISTS:
I think that the significance of focussing on a group is that you can have one person with the expertise to produce this weaponised anthrax and someone else to actually deliver it to Trenton. I think that a large part of the investigation early on focused on AN individual. As such we would ask the question, could that individual have gotten to New Jersey. If you begin to think that it could have involved two or more, then the alibi of an individual that I was not near New Jersey may in fact fall apart and you could look at someone else delivering it...
The private contractor companies linked to the military and jokingly referred to as "beltway bandits" because they're sprinkled around the Washington beltway ring-road, is where individuals with the right mix of skills might be working. Some of these contractors are now known to have been involved in classified bio-defence projects. One of these secret projects, carried out in the Nevada desert, was part of a series of three In the first few days of September last year - immediately prior to the attacks of the 11th, the New York Times carried a major investigation which at any other time would have been a story of huge significance...It revealed three secret bio-defence projects at a time when the American people believed none was taking place. One - run by a contractor - Battelle - was to create genetically altered anthrax. The question now is - are there more such projects?
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND:
now we've discovered that the CIA is in this business too, though presumably only through contractors. But we don't know how many contractors. One contractor is now publicly disclosed, Battelle, that did one of those projects. There may be other contractors, so there was this whole story has not been clarified publicly, so that's the rest of your iceberg, in other words we don't know how many contractors, we don't know how many projects.
The 1998 paper study on anthrax in the mail was one secret project. Dr Rosenberg is making the astonishing suggestion that there may have been a deadly follow-up by somebody else. Last time she questioned the investigation, she was attacked by the FBI and the White House. But she says she's prepared to speak out again because she's so afraid of what might happen next.
DR BARBARA ROSENBERG:
FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS:
This person is.. knows a lot about forensic matters, knows exactly what he can be prosecuted for and what he can get away with and I think he had some personal matters that he might have wanted to settle but I think in addition that he felt that biodefence was being under-emphasised for some time in the past
Rosenberg's claims are astonishing but she's an insider with good contacts. She thinks the FBI must act soon.
I think the time is rapidly coming when it will be very important to bring him to trial, even if they don't think they have sufficient evidence. This might at least, if not result in a criminal conviction, make it possible to bring civil charges somewhat like what happened to OJ Simpson in the past. So I think it's time to start moving because it's very important from the point of view of deterrence of any possible future terrorist.
America's desire to protect its biodefense programme from scrutiny at all costs was part of why it walked away from an international agreement to control biological weapons last summer. Could its near obsessive secrecy have come home to roost? breeding a climate that allowed one of its experts to take a step too far and turn bio-terrorist against his own?
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT WAS READ OUT AFTER THE BROADCAST :
The CIA have told Newsnight they totally reject Dr Rosenberg's theory and say they were unaware of ANY project to assess the impact of anthrax sent through the mail.
- BBC Newsnight
"Dr Kelly has been described as "internationally regarded" as an expert in biological weapons defence who normally coped well under pressure. Look at his CV. This is a man who enjoyed responsibility. As any scientist his academic integrity would be his primary concern. We know he handled the peer pressure of lectures and symposia. Are we really to believe that the tragic events of the last 24 hrs are a result of a few harsh words at the Foreign affairs select committee, put to him by non-academics? That doesn't describe the psyche of any academic I know. "
Connor Morrow, UKbbc news comments page
"Why...should we accept merely a Hutton inquiry? David Kelly's tragedy deserved public investigation; but so does the epic, unneccessary. tragedy of the thousands of Iraqis whose lives Blair helped to end or scar..."
The " supreme international crime" John Pilger
The search for Dr Kelly and the
finding of his body
Dr Kelly did not return from his walk
and Mrs Kelly, who was joined by two of her daughters during the
course of the evening (her third daughter being in Scotland) became
increasingly worried about him. Mrs Kelly's two daughters went
out separately in their cars to look for their father on the roads
and lanes along which he might have been walking, but when they
had found no trace of him they rang the police about 12.20am on
Friday 18 July.
The Thames Valley Police began an immediate
search for Dr Kelly and the search operation was carried out with
great efficiency. A police dog was used to assist in the search
and a police helicopter with heat seeking equipment was called
in. Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page was informed that Dr
Kelly was missing at 3.09am and he arranged a meeting of key personnel
at Abingdon Police Station at 5.15am. By 7.30am 40 police officers
were engaged in the search and Assistant Chief Constable Page
was advised by two police specialists in the location of missing
persons that Harrowdown Hill, which was an area where Dr Kelly
had often walked, was an area to which particular attention should
be given in the search. Assistant Chief Constable Page then directed
that the area of Harrowdown Hill should be searched and members
of the South East Berks Emergency Volunteers and the Lowland Search
Dogs Association, who had joined the search, were deployed to
Two of the volunteers taking part in
the search were Ms Louise Holmes, with her trained search dog,
and Mr Paul Chapman. They worked together as a team and began
their search about 8am and after a time they went into the wood
on Harrowdown Hill from the east side. The dog picked up a scent
and Ms Holmes followed him. Ms Holmes saw the dog go to the bottom
of a tree and he then ran back to her barking to indicate that
he had found something. She then went in the direction from which
the dog had come and she saw a body slumped against the bottom
of a tree. She shouted to Mr Chapman, who was behind her, to ring
control to tell them that something had been found and she went
closer to see if there was any first aid which she could administer.
She saw the body of a man at the base of the tree with his head
and shoulders slumped back against it. His legs were straight
in front of him, his right arm was at his side and his left arm
had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a strange position.
It was apparent to her that the man was dead and there was nothing
she could do to help him. The person matched the description of
Dr Kelly which she had previously been given by the police. Ms
Holmes then went back to Mr Chapman retracing the route by which
she had come into the wood although there was no definite path
or track by which she had approached the tree.
Mr Chapman had been unable to contact
control so he made a 999 call to speak to Abingdon Police Station
and arranged to walk back to where he and Ms Holmes had parked
their car in order to meet the police officers who were coming
to meet them. On the way back to their car they met three other
police officers who themselves had been engaged in searching the
area and Mr Chapman told them that they had found the body. Mr
Chapman then took one of the police officers, Detective Constable
Coe, to show him where the body was. Mr Chapman showed Detective
Constable Coe the body lying on its back and Detective Constable
Coe said that the body was approximately 75 yards in from the
edge of the wood. Detective Constable Coe saw that there was blood
around the left wrist and he saw a knife, like a pruning knife,
and a watch on the left side of the body. He also saw a small
water bottle. He remained about seven or eight feet away from
the body and stayed in that position for about 25 or 30 minutes
until two other police officers arrived who made a taped off common
approach path to be used by everyone who came to the place where
the body was lying. Two members of an ambulance crew, Ms Vanessa
Hunt and Mr David Bartlett arrived at the scene about 9.55am.
They checked the body for signs of life and found none. They then
placed four electrodes on the chest to verify that life was extinct
and the monitor showed that there was no cardiac output and that
life was extinct. They then disconnected the four electrodes from
the heart monitor and left them on the chest and they themselves
left the scene.
The Hutton Report - CHAPTER 5 continued here
Paramedics challenge Lord Hutton over David Kelly's death
13 December 2004 - Two paramedics have cast doubt over the verdict of the Hutton inquiry that weapons expert Dr David Kelly killed himself by slitting his wrists.
Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt, who were among the first people to arrive at Harrowdown woods, Oxfordshire, after Dr Kelly's body was found on 18 July last year, said there would have been much more blood at the scene using that method.
In a joint statement, Mr Bartlett and Ms Hunt said yesterday: "We felt that our observations of the scene where Dr Kelly's body was discovered were inconsistent with the conclusion of the Hutton Inquiry that Dr Kelly's death resulted from the wound to his wrist."
Ms Hunt said the only blood she saw was a stain the size of a 50p piece on Dr Kelly's trousers and "a little bit of blood" on some nearby nettles. Severing an artery would normally cause "a spraying of blood".
The Hutton inquiry concluded that Dr Kelly had died by "bleeding from incised wounds to his left wrist" after being named as the source of a story by BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan that the dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been "sexed up".
Ms Hunt and Mr Bartlett, each with more than 15 years' experience as paramedics, did not offer any alternative explanations for Dr Kelly's death but said they were repeating evidence given to the inquiry which they felt had not been given sufficient emphasis in its final report. The inquest into Dr Kelly's death was not reconvened after Lord Hutton reported.
Mr Bartlett said: "I would have thought there would have been more blood on the body if he had bled to death."He said that in similar cases he had attended "there is usually more blood".
A spokesman for Thames Valley police said yesterday that they were "fully satisfied with the outcome of the investigation into David Kelly's death".
GROUP 13 - deniable assassination
INSIDE GROUP 13.
RUMOURS ABOUND ABOUT A COVERT GROUP OF FORMER SAS AND MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS WHO ARE SAID TO BE STATE ASSASSINS.
Group 13 is generally believed to have evolved from former SAS soldiers, security, and intelligence operatives who were once active in Northern Ireland during the mid-to-late 1970's when a labour government was still in power. The SAS had been sent to Northern Ireland in 1969 to perform covert operations against the IRA. To cover their deployment to such a politically sensitive area, the SAS chose the guise of 'training teams'. A succession of cover names were used over the next two years - such as the Military Reconnaissance Force, the 14th Intelligence Unit, and the Fourth Field Survey Troop, Royal Engineers (FFST).
Fred Holroyd, a Captian in British Army Intelligence who served in Nothern Ireland in the mid-1970's, claims that the FFST was an SAS undercover unit stationed at the Royal Engineers base at Castiledillion, in Armagh. Holroyds brief was to develop informers and other intelligence sources connected to the IRA. It was inherently dangerous work, made worse by a territorial battle between factions inside MI5 and MI6 for control of the Northern Ireland 'patch'. When interviewed Holroyd recalled incidents where one of these factions would plant a bomb, and then place the blame on the IRA. Holroyd is doubtful that the FFST went on to become Group 13, but there are a number of other possible origins for the covert assassination team.
The election victory of the Labour Party in February 1974 was closely followed by rumours of an impending coup d'etat by right-wing groups operating in the shadows of power. These groups viewed Prime Minister Harold Wilson as a Communist taking orders from Moscow, and saw a coup as the only way of keeping Britain out of Moscows wily grasp.One of these groups was named GB75, and was organized by David Sterling, founder of the SAS.
Significantly, GB75 had close contacts with the British intelligence community, from which they probably received unofficial support.
Another group, founded in 1970, called itself the Resistance and Psychological Operations Committee (RPOC). According to one former member, RPOC had a clandestine section, which formed an underground resistance movement in the event that Russia invaded the UK. With tacit approval from the Conservative government of the day, the RPOC formed close ties with the British security and intelligence apparatus, and '...forged close links with the SAS's... own secret intelligence network'. Little is known about this network, apart from one enlightening publication.
In his book, The Feather Men, Ranulph Fiennes, the Arctic trekker and one-time member of the SAS, reveals the existence of an unofficial group of ex-SAS officers and soldiers. This covert group, Fiennes claims, were tasked with protecting members of the SAS whose lives were under threat as a result of their activities. Fiennes goes on to explain that, when a freelance team of assassins was sent to kill him, this secretive ex-SAS group had more or less 'mopped up' (that is, killed) the would-be assassins. Fiennes further alleges that this SAS team had been founded by David Sterling. It is not possible to say with any certainty that this team - or elements within it - evolved to become Group 13. However, the associations are clearly similar.
The exsistence of both these groups is highly unofficial but desirable to certain factions within the government. Both groups are said to be responsible for political assassinations in Northrn Ireland and elsewhere. And both appear to lean towards right-wing agendas.
Despite the thick smokescreen that Group 13, speculation is rife about its alleged 'targets'. High on the list is the murder of defense journalist Jonathan Moyle in a hotel room in Santiago, Chile, in March 1990. Moyle had been gathering damning evidence of British involvment in equiping helicopters for Iraq. Although his killers were never found, US State Department and CIA documents reveal that, shortly before he was mudered, Moyle's hotel was regularly visited by two men with known British security and intelligence connections.
Another operation that may be linked to Group 13 is the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan People's Bureau in London 1984. In a courageous piece of television, Channel Four broadcast a Dispatches programme in 1996 that suggested that WPC Fletcher was murdered by elements inside British and American intelligence. Among other startling facts, the programme stated that the shot that had killed Fletcher may have been a 'terminal velocity' round. This technique reduces the sound of the gunshot and creates the impression that the shot was fired from a considerable distance. It is a known technique of SAS snipers.
Fresh information about Group 13 came to light in Febuary 1996 following the publication of the Scott Report on the arms-to-Iraq affair. During a lenghty interview, Gerald James, the former Chairman of Astra Holdings Plc - one of the British munitions manufacturers implicated in the illegal weapons trade - told how he had been ousted from the board of Astra in 1990. He alleges that his removal was orchestrated by a former member of Group 13, who had extremely high-level contacts in the intelligence community and the government. In written evidence presented to the House of Commons Trade and Industry Commitee Inquiry into arms exports to Iraq, on 5th February 1992, James claimed that he had learned through reliable sources that Group 13 is 'apparently a hit or contract squad for the Foreign Office and Secuirity Services'.
In his explosive book, In The Public Interest (1995), which blows the lid off British involvement in Arming Iraq's Saddam Hussein, James writes that 'The Foreign Office is said to draw Group 13 operatives from the SAS as well as from private security firms'. He adds that Group 13's duties involve 'service to the nation of a kind only given to the most ruthlessly experienced SAS officers'. The Foreign Office reference clearly points to a MI6 connection. Known also as the Secret Intelligence Service - a name well known by lovers of the Bond movies - MI6 comes under the control of the Foreign Office. Perhaps the infamous '007: License to Kill' pedigree has evolved from those fictional suave men in black bow ties and tuxedos, to become those all-to-secretive men in camouflage smocks and beret badges inscribed with the motto "Who Dares Wins".
Ther is some evidence to suggest that UK Secret Service hit squads have links with similar groups in the US. According to J. Olin Grabbe, a retired American professor, a highly secret US assassination team operates out of the NSA. The unit, Grabbe claims, is called I-3 and is thought by some to have connections with Britain's Group 13. Also, ex-CIA operative Gene 'Chip' Tatum maintains that he was a member of an American-based, international assassination team. The team, Tatum claims, is called Pegasus and operates around the world. Targets are normally influential politicians and financiers. Tatum also has stated that the British end of Pegasus was run during the mid-1980's by a high-ranking British government official.
Dr Kelly: WHO WERE THE MEN IN BLACK ON HARROWDOWN HILL?
Q. In the course of your inquiries were you contacted by
a person who suggested there had been three men dressed
in black wandering around at the time that Dr Kelly's
body was found?
A. Yes, I think both we and the Inquiry received
a communication from a gentleman who expressed concern
that he had noticed three individuals dressed in dark or
black clothing near the scene where Dr Kelly's body was
found. I am speaking from memory, but I think the
sighting was at somewhere between 8.30 and 9.30 in the
morning, something like that.
ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE MICHAEL PAGE'S TESTIMONY TO THE HUTTON INQUIRY
On 23 September 2003 Assistant Chief Constable Page told the Hutton Inquiry that a "gentleman" had contacted both the police and the Inquiry to express his concern over his sighting of 3 individuals in dark or black clothing near the scene where Dr David Kelly's body was found.
What are we to make of this?
Page quickly dismisses the sighting, testifying how,
"...we undertook some fairly extensive work. We got
statements from all our officers who were at the scene
and that was in excess of 50. We plotted their
movements on a map and eventually were able to
triangulate where the writer was talking about and
identify three of our officers, so I am satisfied that
I am aware of the identity of these three individuals
But why should the police undertake "some fairly extensive work"? Why was it that they felt the need to take "in excess of 50" statements?
For extensive work to be deemed necessary, the "gentleman" who witnessed the incident must have described some activity by these 3 individuals in dark clothing which did not fit the pattern of mere search officers.
Vanessa Hunt, in her testimony to the Hutton Inquiry, described PCs Franklin and Sawyer as wearing "dark polo shirts" and "combat trousers", so presumably this must have been the standard attire for searching officers to be wearing. This is pretty much "dark clothing". So what was it about this man's sighting of these particular 3 individuals which was unusual enough to prompt such a line of inquiry?
A couple of days ago, with this in the back of my mind, I was watching a TV programme on Channel 4 (UK) about SAS officers and how they operate. It was stated that an SAS squad was sent in by the UK government to deal with a prison riot in Scotland. The prison officers at the time described these SAS as "men in black", noting with some bemusement, that they all looked the same - all were clothed in black and wearing black balaclavas. Were the individuals on Harrowdown Hill possibly also wearing balaclavas? Is that why the gentleman thought it worthy of reporting?
SAS practice is to hide out for hours, days and sometimes weeks at observation posts. These can be holes in the ground specially dug out for the purpose and then covered back over with turf, derelict buildings, or any other place that is likely to remain undisturbed. Had these 3 individuals been hiding out in observation sites in the Harrowdown area and suddenly been "activated" for a purpose? Or had they been dropped from helicopters - ostensibly "search" helicopters from RAF Benson - during the previous night?
Rowena Thursby considers whether Group 13
were involved in the death of Dr David C Kelly